Premiere: ESS SEE Embraces Imperfection in Beautifully Vulnerable “Slip Slide”

An intimate electropop anthem of inner strength and self-love, ESS SEE’s “Slip Slide” aches with touching vulnerability in its stirring embrace.
Stream: “Slip Slide” – ESS SEE

There’s so many others out there just like you.

Each of us needs a personal anthem to guide us through the darkness: A reminder not only that life is a vast, chaotic array of good and bad, ups and downs, but also that it’s worth the effort and so much more than the sum of its parts. An intimate electropop anthem of inner strength and self-love, ESS SEE’s “Slip Slide” aches with touching vulnerability in its stirring, heartfelt embrace.

Slip Slide - ESS SEE

Slip Slide – ESS SEE

I know I forgot your name
I remember your face
It’s a very unmistakable identity
Oh silly me, me, me
But what’s a girl supposed to do
When there’s oh so many others
out there j
ust like you
I won’t be shamed
Cause I’m the same, same, same

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Slip Slide,” ESS SEE’s first release of 2019 and the lead single off her forthcoming debut album, Waiting for the Sky to Fall (out at the end of the summer). The moniker for Brooklyn by-way-of Little Rock artist Sarah Cobb, ESS SEE first introduced herself over two years ago with the indulgent single “Touch Me,” soon after followed by 2017’s Ordinary Woman EP. Blending beat-driven dance pop and sultry, soulful R&B elements with classic guitar and keyboard-driven rock influence, ESS SEE’s progressive pop identity is maturely multi-faceted and absolutely entrancing.

At times, ESS SEE sounds straight out of the Flaming Lips’ camp of ethereal otherworldliness; in other moments, her magnetic left-of-center pulse feels more aligned with acts like Neon Trees, St. Vincent, and Robyn. Writing and performing her music with Charlie Rauh’s guitar work and Julie Kathryn’s (I Am Snow Angel) production and mixing, ESS SEE has now crafted an album that captures her full essence.

ESS SEE © Jonathan Frey

ESS SEE © Jonathan Frey

“Slip Slide” is our first peek at the long-awaited Waiting for the Sky to Fall, reaffirming ESS SEE’s exciting musicality with catchy licks and dazzling electropop instrumentation ready and waiting for multiple listens. According to ESS SEE, “‘Slip Slide’ is a song about humility, and becoming self-aware. It’s the process of accepting your failures, imperfections, and shortcomings, and resolving to fully and joyfully embrace all the ups and downs of life.”

I’m living broken
Got no quick fixes
No no, no no, no no
These heavy blindfolds
They leave me listless
No no, no no, no no

Pitched-down vocals open the song with the repeated line, “There’s so many others out there just like you.” These words come to act as both musical and lyrical mantras: ESS SEE begins singing atop the repetition and a light keyboard, dwelling in a dark space of insecurity, uncertainty, and self-doubt. A sparse, emotionally substantial melody begins to take shape as ESS SEE approaches the chorus. Energy builds internally until the walls come crashing down in a spirited, hopeful chorus:

I won’t slide back again
Backslide to way back when
Slip to the now instead
I won’t slide back again
Slip slide slip slide

“I wrote ‘Slip Slide’ on the tail end of an intense season of restlessness (some might’ve called it a quarter life crisis),” ESS SEE tells Atwood Magazine. “I was floating around — bored, complacent, and had no idea what I was doing with my life. I was just starting to shake myself out of it, but was terrified I’d end up back in the same spot. I began thinking a lot about death and what it means to live fully while we’re here. Ultimately, the only thing I figured out was to embrace the humanity of it all — to try and let go of past failures and disappointment, and go ‘all in’ on the present. This song is a pep talk to myself to stay awake, to keep going, and to have a little bit more grace and compassion for myself and others along the way.”

ESS SEE © Jonathan Frey

ESS SEE © Jonathan Frey

Directed by Jonathan Frey and choreography by Andrea Baez, ESS SEE’s “Slip Slide” music video endeavors to depict the song’s emotional release – that buoyant embrace of life’s full spectrum that comes from acknowledging the ultimate balance – that we don’t get the good without the bad. Dancers Emma Trujillo Jimenez and Miguel Angel Cisneros inject excitement and love into an empty dancefloor, basking in the glow of one another’s presence as take advantage of the full, cooly-lit space together.

“For the music video, I wanted to find a way to show what this type of freedom might look like: To be confident, imperfect, vulnerable, and comfortable,” ESS SEE explains. “It struck me that maybe the only way to really get to this place in life, is through living it; and that maybe I wasn’t quite far enough along yet. So, I tasked my director and long time collaborator, Jonathan Frey (who is currently taking a hiatus from NYC in México City), with finding an older couple to dance to the song. We struck gold when we found Emma and Miguel, two adorable and incredibly talented dancers based in México City. Emma and Miguel have been dancing together for over 40 years. They regularly dance in the Salóns of Mexico City well into the night, and have more energy and better moves than most people I know half their age (including myself).”

I wanted to find a way to show what this type of freedom might look like: To be confident, imperfect, vulnerable, and comfortable.

Slip Slide - ESS SEE

Slip Slide – ESS SEE

ESS SEE continues, “We were lucky enough to have choreographer Andrea Bàez on set to help translate the vision and bring the concept to life. But for the most part, we let Emma and Miguel do their thing. They danced for hours and each time the music started it got better and better. I could’ve watched them for days. Their chemistry was so magnetic and their intimacy and comfort with themselves and each other was intoxicating. It was truly everything I’d hoped for, and they exuded exactly the level of joy, confidence, and freedom I hope to fully inhabit someday.”

Love permeates “Slip Slide” as ESS SEE’s intimate outpouring transforms into an impassioned anthem of resolve, conviction, and inner strength. Stream “Slip Slide” exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and stay tuned for more from ESS SEE as she gears up to release her debut album: Waiting for the Sky to Fall is scheduled to release at summer’s end!

I won’t slide back again
Backslide to way back when
Slip to the now instead
I won’t slide back again
Slip slide slip slide
Stream: “Slip Slide” – ESS SEE

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Slip Slide - ESS SEE

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📸 © Jonathan Frey

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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com